Pantser, Plotter, and Plantser: The 3 Dominant Types of Writers

by The Magic Violinist | 65 comments

What type of writer are you? Are you a pantser who likes to write without much of a plan or a plotter who works mostly from an outline? Maybe you're some combination of both. Let's look at the three types of writers.

pantser vs plotter

There are all types of writers, but most writers fall into one of the three categories: pantser, plotter, or planster (a combination of the two).

While there's no (necessarily) right or wrong way to approaching plot structure, writers who fall into their certain type do so with pride.

Today, let's talk about the three types of writers—and learn if you're the kind of writer who writes by the seat of your pants, or someone who takes a general idea and writes pages of background and structure before moving forward.

What is a Pantser?

A pantser is someone who “flies by the seat of their pants,” meaning they don’t plan out anything in their story, or plan very little.

Freedom is an important value for pantsers. They don't need or want a detailed scene-by-scene outline. In fact, their writing style—for a first draft or senior book—is partly about discovering the story as they write it.

They like to get lost in their story. They like to let the main character and their imagination lead them to a surprising finished product.

What is a Plotter?

Simply put, a plotter is someone who plans out their novel before they write it. There are various levels of plotters. Regardless, outlining their novel before writing is extremely important to these writers.

In fact, it's essential to the writing process. It's what keeps their story structure in tact, and it is also crucial to have if they want to finish their manuscript.

Plotters value knowing what's going to happen in their story before writing it. They want clarity. A plan gives them energy and intention, and it saves them a lot of time when they do write their book (and also when they revise!).

Got it! But what is a PLANTSER?

Some people, like me, call themselves “plantsers,” which means they’re do a little of both. In reality, most people are plantsers, but some tend to lean heavily to one side or the other.

A plantser could be someone who—before writing—writes a synopsis and comes up with important details that drive their story ideas. Or they could be the kind of writer that enjoys planning out their subplots and character sketches and character arcs, but during the writing of the novel, goes rogue for some chunks of the story. They like a taste of writing life on the seat of their pants—but not all of it.

Personally, I think a great plantsing strategy is to look at story arc and outline the big moments in a book. In other words, the elements of plot for the major parts of a book: the beginning, the middle (which has two parts separated by the midpoint), and the end.

You can learn more about the elements of plot in the post, but as a quick recap, here they are:

No matter what type of writing method or writing life you prefer, there are pros and cons to each one.

Let’s take a look.

PANTSER Pros and Cons

Pros: Pantsers have the freedom to take their novel in any direction they want. They love the blank page, and thrive on the thrill of the ideas that come as they type. They also have flexibility. They’re not stuck following an outline, so if they don’t like a character, they can simply kill him. If they don’t like the way their plot is going, they can change it.

Cons: However, having no plan, or very little plan, makes it easier to get stuck. And if they get stuck, they have to come up with a way to dig themselves out of writer’s block, rather than following an outline that leads them in the right direction. When this happens, Pantsers often abandon old projects for new ones, leaving multiple unfinished novels in their wake.

Why?

The pantsing approach, writing with no direction, likely means there will be lots of rewriting, since these types of writers usually take a vague idea and run with it. While fun in the moment, this can lead to lots of plot holes, which means rewriting (a lot of it) is almost guaranteed.

Pantsers will have to eventually look at plot structure and outlines. They just do it after the first draft is done. And that can be overwhelming. 

In novel writing, too much editing can lead to burnout and manuscript abandonment. And rewriting, although inevitable for every type of writer, is especially steep for a pantser.

PLOTTER Pros and Cons

Pros: Plotters, having planned out their novel ahead of time, know what’s going to happen before they write it. This makes it easier to bust writer’s block. It’s harder to get stuck when you know what’s going to happen next. Plotters also tend to get their novels written faster, or at least more smoothly.

Cons: Plotters are confined to their plans, meaning if they do get stuck or want to change something, they often have to redo their whole outline. And I can tell you from experience, redoing an entire outline is not fun.

If you're a plotter, then you're in luck. We have several great resources for you. Learn more about plotting your best story here:

Writers Take Many Forms

All writers tend to fall into one of these types: pantser, plotter, or planster. There are advantages and disadvantages to all types of writing styles—and knowing the type of writer you are will prepare you for what usually holds you back.

Which means self-awareness of you writing preference will make you a better writer.

Because we all become a better writer when we finish (and revise) our books.

What about you? Do you consider yourself a Plotter or a Pantser? Or are you a little of both? Let us know in the comments.

The Write StructureNeed more plot help that's friendly to plotters AND pantsers? After you work on practicing your plotting and pantsing in the exercise section below, check out my new book The Write Structure which helps writers make their plot better and write books readers love. Low price for a limited time!

Get The Write Structure – $9.99 $5.99 »

PRACTICE

Whatever type of writer you think you are—plotter or pantser—become the opposite for a little while.

If you’re a pantser, plot out your next scene or chapter for your novel.

If you’re a plotter, abandon your outline and write freely.

Write for fifteen minutes and, if you’d like, post your practice in the Pro Practice Workshop here. Don't forget to give feedback to a few other writers while you're there. Have fun!

How to Write Like Louise PennyWant to write like Louise Penny? Join our new class and learn how. Learn more and sign up here.

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The Magic Violinist is a young author who writes mostly fantasy stories. She loves to play with her dog and spend time with her family. Oh, and she's homeschooled. You can visit her blog at themagicviolinist.blogspot.com. You can also follow The Magic Violinist on Twitter (@Magic_Violinist).

65 Comments

  1. Al

    I am definitely not a plotter by nature when it comes to writing. I love the way writing can grow and twist organically, and prefer that to predefining its course.

    Last week I completed the manuscript that I have been working on for the past two years and laid it to one side to mature before getting into the editing.

    Time to start something new.

    A year ago whilst walking the streets of Cartagena, Colombia, there was an incident that fired an idea for my next work. As I continued to walk, I plotted the whole book out in my head, from initiation to conclusion. I wrote it down later that day, and have been waiting eagerly to start it ever since. Two days ago I read the synopsis and wrote a brief prologue.

    Today, as I started to frame up chapter one, a sullen detective named Sal Tejada walked into the middle of the scene and shot my plan to hell.

    Funny thing is, I feel much better about it. I guess we are what we are.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Ah, yes. Writing can be tricky that way. You can set out to write a serious contemporary and end up with a wacky, MG fantasy adventure. Guess that’s what happens when our imagination gets to be in control. 😉

  2. Jeroen van Baardwijk

    I’m still trying to find the for me most comfortable spot on the spectrum. My first WIP was written in 100% pantser mode—and let me assure you it was an exhilirating ride, just letting the story go wherever it wanted to go and discovering that characters can come to live and develop a mind and an attitude (or perhaps more accurately: attitude problem) of their own, wreaking havoc with your manuscript. Highly recommended for new authors, if only just for the fun of it. 🙂

    My second WIP is 80% pantser and 20% plotter (numbers determined by the scientific approach known as ‘gut feeling’).

    For future manuscripts I’ll just move the slider even further, perhaps even all the way to 100% planner, and then determine which setting works best for me.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      I wrote my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel in 100% Pantser mode. Boy, was that an insane story!

      Messing around with different techniques is the best way to find what works for you. 🙂 I hope you find something you like!

  3. cjcmd

    Coming from a software development background, I tried to apply principles of “agile project management” to writing my first book, and it worked out pretty well. I had a beginning and ending in mind, and plotted via more abstract ideas like character development and relationship dynamics. This gave me a general idea of where the story needed to be going as well as guidance to where scenes belonged as I thought of them.

    The result was very successful – my first manuscript required very little structural rework, and there were no extraneous chapters or scenes. I don’t think I could have written a story this tight from the start without any planning, and the flexibility of the process meant that I was free to take it into different directions because I didn’t tie the structure to many concrete elements.

    I’ve documented this on my writer’s group’s website if you’re interested in knowing more. http://gfwwriters.com/2014/01/27/agile-outlining/

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      That’s fantastic that you found something that works for you! 🙂

  4. Dana Schwartz

    I’m always blown away by your mature and insightful posts! Really enjoyed this, especially your use of the word planster! That is definitely me too 🙂
    -Dana

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Aww, thank you so much! 🙂

  5. Chloee

    I walked down the uneven sidewalk as the rain beat down on me. Few people were out in my small town a few shop’s were open and the cozy glow from the light’s set off though the dark and cold sky. I slung my back pack onto my shoulder my hoodie protecticting me from the rain. My red hair covered my eye’s. I tiredly held me head up from a long day at school. The taunting and teasing wold make anyone break down and cry. Not me though me exscape was a razor blade down my arm.

    Before you judge me let me tell you my life. My mom and dad are drunks and druggies. I’ve raised myself all my life. My family’s the outcast in this town in fact I wouldn’t even have a house if I didn’t work.

    So yeah I cut myself and I’ve thought of suicide but that’s society for you. The kid’s at school like to bully me because I wear weird clothes and I’m shy and I don’t stand up for myself. Today was the same as any other day. I got punch in the mouth causing me to have a busted lip and of course nobody saw it so I was sent down to the principal office. Thunder roared making me run. I flew over the sidewalk away from the bullies and my mom and dad’s abuse. Of course all good thing’s have to come to a end.

    I reached the front door and opened it. The blaring TV rang though the house. My mom and dad were passed out on the couch bottle’s and pill’s were scattered around the table. I walked up stair’s going though the mail. I threw my back pack on the floor and slump down on my desk chair.

    I opened a letter that had my name written on it. I stared in fear at what it read just three simple word’s. It is time.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Ooh, this was chilling. There were a few spelling and grammatical errors here and there, but otherwise I really liked it. 🙂 Good job!

  6. Melissa

    I’m naturally a pantser (wrote my first novel that way) but for the second time around I’m going with a post-it note outline.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Ooh, I love post-it outlines! 🙂 My favorite part of outlining is writing down scenes, then rearranging them until I’m satisfied.

  7. Eliese

    Hello Everyone.

    I am a plantser. I start out by writing by the seat of my pants. I like to let the story take me, and see where it goes. But then, once I see where the story is going, I like to make an outline. That doesn’t mean I need to completely follow it, but it is nice to see what might happen in the story.

    Great article. Very interesting. 🙂

    Reply
    • Giulia Esposito

      I like this idea! Might try it myself.

    • Eliese

      Neat! Have fun 🙂

    • themagicviolinist

      Huh, I’ve never thought of approaching a story like that. Usually I start with a vague outline and then go from there. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Eliese

      It is interesting that you haven’t heard of that yet. I feel special lol. I guess we have to go with whatever works. Thanks 🙂

  8. Natalie

    I am definitely a pantser, and it’s not good! My hard drive is littered with partially-finished novels because I always end up getting stuck in the middle and can’t figure out what to do, so I get frustrated and abandon them. I made a resolution this year to finish all my unfinished manuscripts before starting something new… except I just started working on a new science fiction piece, so I obviously haven’t kept that resolution!

    Reply
    • Eliese

      I have that same problem right now. I have many unfinished works and ideas. At first I was excited by the many ideas, but now I am sad to see these stories waiting for me. It’s hard to decide which one to do again.

    • themagicviolinist

      I find that it’s best to go with whatever you’re most inspired to write (unless you’re on a deadline, of course). If you’re motivated when you write, rather than annoyed or feeling like you “have” to write it, you’ll produce better work. That being said, there is something wonderful about that sense of accomplishment when you finish a project! 🙂

  9. Kristy Herbeck

    I am a disgruntled Plantser. I plan enough to get myself started; I get my characters formed and I know how the story ends, everything in-between is done as a pantser.

    Reply
    • Catherine

      I believe I’m going to follow that same path for the novel I’m working on right now, but I may also have a short list of bullets that state some key events that happen between the beginning and end, but I believe that will be the easiest part.

    • themagicviolinist

      I know a lot of people who do that. Normally I know how the story begins and ends, but everything in between is fair game. 🙂

  10. Naomi Tsvirko

    Interesting, you have me thinking, I think I am a plotter and a pantser. Allow me to explain- I plan but if it’s not working i put my panster hat on 🙂

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      That’s a good way to approach it. 😉

  11. R.w. Foster

    I’m a pantser. The one time I tried to write an outline, the story withered, and died on me. But, I do have multiple novels in various stages of completion. I just have to fight passed the thing that is even more dreaded than writer’s block: Procrastination.

    Reply
    • Giulia Esposito

      Oh, I know that evil P word…

    • themagicviolinist

      Ah, yes. Procrastination: the death of all productivity!

  12. Catherine

    I believe I am definitely a plantser. I tried the whole plantser thing, and while that has worked for me for short stories, writing a novel is totally different- at least for the novel I’m working on right now. It’s rather complicated to plan since the current story has a past which gives the present events purpose, but this past is revealed slowly throughout the book since both the two main protagonists and the readers assume they already know what the past is. (Spoiler: they’re wrong!) When I began writing this novel I had a vague concept and a desire for a story. So, I pantsed it and got about 8 and a half chapters as a result- but my characters and story were not the ones I knew. They weren’t part of the story I wanted to tell. It would take me a while to realize that I needed to sit down and figure out some things before I attempted writing the beginning of this story for the fourth time. Who were my characters? Where was the story heading? What was I wanting to convey to my readers? How would I convey it to them?
    Most importantly: Why does this story deserve to be told? What is its purpose?
    I don’t have all the answers yet, but now 3 years after that vague concept popped into my head in the seventh grade, I am answering those questions. I finally feel like this story could take off and fly, but I need to learn how to flap first- which is a metaphorical way of saying: I need to get more organized with my time and my thinking and realize this is hard work. True, it’s work that I love, but that story won’t magically poof on my computer screen one day. I am now a sophomore in Highschool and I am finally starting to learn- only after I had admitted that there was MUCH to learn about. This blog in many ways helped me realize that, so thank you. (Thus, I conclude this rant-like post, which I had thought would be considerably shorter. Whoops.)

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      A lot of the time, just messing around with different types of planning (or not planning) is the best way to discover what works best for you. That’s great that you’re figuring things out already! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  13. Pedro Hernandez

    I am a plantser, I plan out the beginning and the end, and then write like a pantser through it

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Hey, that’s pretty much what I do! 🙂

  14. L.S. Redding

    Great post! I’m a plotter for the most part. I begin with a premise and create my characters and their world. Once that’s established, the plot is born. I create an outline akin to a screen writer’s treatment. Typically if there are inconsistencies or holes in the story, they are recognized and eliminated before I get too deep into the error. The best advice I can give for saving time is to write a first draft with side bar comments to yourself, and then begin your edits once the draft is complete. You will save time and avoid throwing away tons of pages.
    For more tips about writing follow me on twitter @LSRedding1

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      I envy you. I don’t have the patience to create an outline that detailed. Often my notes read something like, “Ronald falls off horse” or “Murderer discovered.” Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • L.S. Redding

      My pleasure! Great article. My writing group was just discussing the difference between plotters and pantsers around the same time you posted this.

  15. Annika Smith

    I’m a plotter, but I don’t hesitate to deviate from my outline, so long as the change doesn’t change the story so much that the outline is useless. But I find I can change sub-plots and character arcs without making my outline completely useless, since it has all the major events planned out which often stay the same.
    I tried to be a pantser at first but I kept getting stuck with writer’s block and I’d leave my project sitting for months. Once I planned out the novel, though, I got the rough draft written in a few months. And I’m not going back!

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      I love it when I can change something about my outline without setting off a domino effect that makes me have to redo the whole thing. 🙂 It’s fantastic when that works out!

  16. Susan Chambers

    I’m definitely a plantser, with a planner bias. I do a pretty intense planning session before writing in regards to the overall shape of the novel and (even more so) the characters. But I also let it go where it wants once I get started and frequently have to go back and fill in the holes — although, admittedly, I do plot out how I fill in those gaps.

    I think it’s great advice for hardcore plotters to try pantsing (heh) and vice versa.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Huh, I’d never thought of plotting out my characters before. Good idea! 🙂

      I think so, too. 😉

  17. Reagan

    Definitely both. When I started my novel (that I’m still working on), I didn’t plan one thing. Half way through, I realized that it wasn’t going to work, and made an outline, which forced me to restart the whole thing! I pretty much follow the whole outline, but I’ll throw in a few twists and turns on a whim. I’m a proud plantser 🙂

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      And you should be! It took me a long time to figure out which one I was. That’s great that you found something that works for you. 🙂

  18. ngb

    I finished my first novel (yay) as a pantser. When I tried to rough out an outline, I found myself using it as an excuse to not start writing. I’m in the midst of editing and became frustrated one day when ideas for my next project wouldn’t leave me alone. In order to give my full attention to my edits, I decided to take a moment to start typing up the ideas and it came out as a pseudo-synopsis. I haven’t started writing it yet, but so far I like the flow of ideas this generates, as opposed to a traditional outline. I guess I’m a converted planster! :-)!

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Congratulations! 🙂 It’s always exciting to finish a project. Isn’t it great when ideas come to you without you even having to do anything?

  19. Tea, the Spirit, and a Pen

    I definitely think I’m a pantser. Most of the time I have no idea what’s fixing to happen and I just hope my character can figure it out. My brother will finish his exams and always say “it’s in God’s hands now,” and that’s so me when I’m writing. If you ask me what’s going to happen I can only tell you I have no clue, it’s in God’s hands now, meaning the story has it’s own life, I just hold the pen and the Moleskine! However, when I get stuck I tend to outline the story, starting with what I know and what I want to happen. Maybe I’m a plantser!

    http://teathespiritandapen.blogspot.com/

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      That’s fantastic! 🙂 There’s something so freeing about just writing and not knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s like magic.

  20. Sandra

    I am a pantster, unfortunately, I just write. I want to plot. I try to. But I have been feeling the slow makings of a long term book start to shuffle through my mind. I think that’s what’s happening.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      Don’t worry, plotting isn’t for everyone. 🙂 And sometimes it just takes time to adjust to a method of writing. I wrote for years without an outline, and only recently have I discovered that I like mapping out my books!

  21. Linda Adams

    I’m a pantser, and I cringe every time I see a pros and cons of being a pantser. Pros and cons assumes that you’re weighing in on the good and bad points like you might do when you buy a car and then choose. I didn’t choose to be a pantser; it simply was me. I’ve tried outlines, and even a “pantser-friendly” one, which wasn’t. They failed by Chapter 3 every single time.

    Also, not every pantser has a trail of unfinished projects.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      You know, that’s very true. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But I definitely didn’t intend to portray being one or the other as “bad.” I’m sorry if it came across that way.

      I know not every Pantser has a trail of unfinished projects. I just know that a lot of them do, based on people that have said so online or otherwise. I admire those who can stick with a project for so long without getting stuck or switching to a new one!

  22. zeus

    Thanks Magic Violinist. Your topic is very interesting.
    ——————OoO————————-
    I’m a little of both plotter and pantser. When I just have some idea to write a long story, I often plan out it before writing. This helps me easy to write each paragraph. In this case I’m a plotter. However when I have a flash idea suddenly, I write follow my thinking. And in this case, I’m a pantser.

    So I think it is good to mix a little of both plotter and pantser. It’s up to situation.

    –Zeus–

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      You’re definitely right. 🙂 I think a mix of Plotter and Pantser is good, too.

  23. Giulia Esposito

    I’m a panster who is currently thinking about actually plotting something. I looked at the snowflake method and literally cringed. I think I might try and be a planster.

    Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      A lot of people start out as a Pantser or a Plotter and end up being a mix of both. I went from being a Pantser to a Plantser in just the past year!

      (I’d never heard of the snowflake method, so I looked it up. All I can say is wow!)

    • Giulia Esposito

      i know!

  24. Stefan Fouché

    I am a proud pantser. My first novel is going so smoothly. I have 67000 words and I am almost done. I have not hit the dreaded BLOCK yet. I am 17.

    Reply
  25. Antara Man

    Now I realize, when I was a child, I was a pantser – I wrote a whole bunch of novels and never finished even single one of them because I was getting bored and soon I was coming with new story ideas. Now, while I am writing my third adult written novel, I start to understand and see that being a plotter is definitely better and scrivener enables. I have always used to take notices in a notebook. However, I must confess a certain thing: not matter how much you outline, at certain point of the story will get a life on its own. My advice is to be flexible and to experiment. In the movie Inception there was a line referencing on that.

    Reply
  26. Michael Doane

    I think a golden story lies somewhere in the boundaries between being plotted and being pantsed. So go plantsing!

    Reply
  27. Jackson Davies

    I’m a pantser with over 70 unfinished works. Normally I like to see where a novel is shaping before I commit to it deeper and the only way to do that is write for a length. The novel I am on the 2nd draft of at the moment was one that I had previously parked. Thanks for this definition.

    Reply
  28. Aala Elsadig

    I once tried plotting and it was terrible. I get that some people have to plot, and respect that, but I feel more motivated and fun when the plot leads itself. I just write what a bunch of fictional characters in a fictional world do, not decide it, and for me, writing is more enjoyable that way.

    Reply
  29. Jess

    I am none. Not even a combination. None of the three options feel right. I feel like my potential pantsterness cancels out my potential plotterness but they sorta work together in a way.
    I start a story on a scene/ a genre I want to try/a name (weird I know)/a smell/a sound/a feeling or sensation that I’ve felt/an undeveloped idea in another book/an original idea from me/a thought/ even a food combination and see how that would work by researching all the genres out there, reading alotta books all the while writing the story and changing it along the way but I don’t go back to change my outline. I write/research/change ideas as I go.
    If I get stuck, I stop writing, make a note of how I had envisioned a future part of the story and wait till I get motivation/another idea to finish up the story then replot
    Because of this I don’t have summaries for my stories. Just one sentence descriptions (I write online)
    It’s a bit of a bother because I don’t have an idea of where my story is going but I plot it. I plot several different outcomes even before I start

    Reply
  30. Dawning Moon

    I’m a little bit of both, I tend to have my ideas planned vaguely out but complete and my endgame, but when so write I can just abandon my plan for another, or just make tweaks to it. I never have the issue of actually having to redo everything as my outline is like a fluid roadmap with scenes bare enough for me to remember and take it down without having to look back but allows me to pants some twists which I only see halfway through the novel or maybe while I’m writing the chapter itself.

    Reply
  31. Eric Beaty

    One of the main aspects of writing productivity has to do with knowing—at least to some degree—what you’re going to write. In Rachel Aaron’s popular blog post about how she jumped from writing 2K to 10K a day (http://thisblogisaploy.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-i-went-from-writing-2000-words-day.html) this is one of the three main factors that skyrocketed her productivity. And it takes no more than 5 minutes of pre-planning time.

    Personally, I usually like to begin by thinking about what I want to write. Lately, I’ve limited myself to no more than an hour of brainstorming before I make myself jump in and get the ball rolling. That’s plenty of time to get an idea of where you’re going. Keeping a strict policy of cutting it off at an hour is also a great procrastination fighter.

    I’m not one to have huge outlines before I even begin to write. I subscribe to the ideas of Dean Wesley Smith, Stephen King, and Stuart Horwitz when it comes to plotting/pantsing. They’re definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re stuck feeling like you have to plot before you write like all the “professionals” say.

    Reply
  32. Kathleen Kitty Cosgrove

    I have to begin by pantsing. The character comes alive as I write them, then I roughly outline where I’ll send her and with whom. Writing an outline before having a fully voiced character is too difficult for me because I can’t anticipate how she’ll react yet.

    Reply

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  9. #ReflectiveTeacher: A 2014-15 Year In Review - […] have spent this year reading about the processes I need to take to work past this (I am definitely…
  10. Etapas para escrever um livro | Rapariga no Século XXI - […] de o escrever (plotters) e aqueles que escrevem ao sabor do momento (pantsers). Ambos os tipos têm prós e…
  11. Pollocking - Anecdotallie - […] I talk to other writers about it, they say, “Well, you’re a pantser. It’s just to be expected.” Then…
  12. Thinking Out Loud 72: To be or not to be a writer? - Thinking.FM - […] The Pros and Cons of Pantsers vs. Plotters […]
  13. There’s nothing like the finish line - […] the burden of Getting The Story Down On Paper, which can be a painful experience, especially for a pantser-style…
  14. I’m a Camp NaNoWriMo winner! – Jen Farrant - […] couldn’t do it at all. I didn’t realise that there is a whole section of writers called pantsers who literally…
  15. 5 Novel Writing Tips from a First-Time Plotter - […] They say there’s two types of novel writers: pansters and plotters. […]
  16. The Three Hundred and Seventh Post: The One Where I Talk About Auditions! | Seething Apathy - […] plot points.  I’m still trying to find what really works for me as far as a balance between pantsing…
  17. Plan Every Day: Our Frenemy, the Outline | Keeping Procrastination at Bay - […] before that point. Then I either just keep going or stop, regroup, and outline from there. Various sites call…
  18. » Current Plan For Successful Life Methods - […] my blog…. on my blog. For a good overview of Pantser and Plotter, check out this page: Plotters and Pantsers…
  19. Why I Quite Pantsing - The Beginning of... - […] story, and that is FANTABULOUS. There are Pros and Cons to both methods, as listed beautifully on The Writer…
  20. How to Write a Novel and Keep Your Day Job - […] Hyper-organize documents. For my first book, I was a pantser, making it all up as I went along. Now…
  21. UP! — A Dotty Blogversary–My FIRST! (+ Giveaway) | Writer Side UP! - […] rather than my “blog-page focused” ideas. I guess you could say I ended up being a blogging “pantser” more than…
  22. C.C.! — A Dotty Blogversary–My FIRST! (+ Giveaway) | Creativity Cookbook - […] rather than my “blog-page focused” ideas. I guess you could say I ended up being a blogging “pantser” more than…
  23. Knowing how big a story idea is | Chapters in Flux - […] a sense of where it’s headed. I don’t like to start without that second part. I may like to…
  24. Why NaNoWriMo is a great cure for writer’s block | Writing Refinery - […] posts begin to pop up giving you advice on how to get the most out of your NaNo experience,…
  25. Why You Can’t Finish Writing Your Book - […] yet, even these anti-outlining pantsers have some kind of a plan, whether they admit to it or not. It may not be…
  26. Surviving the Job Hunt… with Writing | The Act of Becoming - […] PS – For the writers out there, in case you were wondering: I am most certainly a “pants-er.” […]
  27. How to Trust Your Writing: 3 Tips from Renowned Novelists - […] why you and I devour stories about other people’s writing processes. And why that age old pantsing versus planning argument…
  28. Making More Time: Creative Mapping | Author Orna Ross. Creative Writing, Creative Publishing, Creative Living - […] activities into four weeks and writing down what must be done first. If you like, (if you’re what writers call…
  29. Managing Your Middle | Whats Write About This - […] about my issue. My biggest problem? I was a pantser, and my novels tend to be plot driven. I…
  30. Introducing Write Better Fiction | KRISTINA STANLEY - […] you’re a panster or a plotter, the thrilling moment will arrive when you’ve written a first […]
  31. Failure, Success, and Time Management | Mark Victor Young - […] year, I had an outline going in, which worked much better than my attempt at pantsing it last year.…
  32. Author Interview ~ Holly Gonzalez | Notes from An Alien - […] Are you a ‘plotter’ or a ‘pantser’? […]
  33. Author Interview ~ J. A. Partridge | Notes from An Alien - […] Does that make you a Plotter instead of a Pantser? […]
  34. Practicing Revision with Telescopic Text | Writers' Rumpus - […] That’s fine; this exercise is for demonstration purposes. My point is that it’s fine to “pants” through the first…
  35. Finding your story structure | Swenson Book Development - […] Pantser or plotter? Do you write by the seat of the pants or from an outline? You need to…
  36. That Illusive First Draft | K.T. Gilbert Romance - […] planning or lack of it. I am naturally a panster (for more on pansters v plotters see here). This means…
  37. Puzzling together a storyline | K. Williams writes... - […] There is also a creativity spectrum when it comes to writing.  On one end of the spectrum are those writers…
  38. #amreading / #amwriting ~ No. 2 | K.T. Gilbert Romance - […] great little post on The Pros and Cons of Plotters and Pantsers, from The Write Practice, gives the pros and…
  39. NaPoWriMo Begs For a Cluster of Poems | Up the Creek with a pen … - […] a plotter not a pantser when it comes to writing. Plus, even when work is polished and published, the…
  40. My First Five Books – CoeWriting - […] I’d started much earlier – even earlier than Book #4, in fact – so much of it was pantsed. …
  41. Hanging out with other writers – Talk Wordy to Me - […] every opportunity to use my new favorite writing slang word: Pantser. Although, technically, I’m a […]
  42. Mini Post Monday – The First 6 Months | Sue's Simple Snippets - […] again, I’m a pantser and she’s a plotter. (Don’t know the difference? Check out this explanation.) Her book is…
  43. Plotters, Pantsers and Plantsers - Brenda Hood - […] https://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/ […]
  44. The Alchemy of Creation | Martha Dunlop - […] I want to be clear that I do not denigrate plotters. I wholly own that I was a plotter…
  45. The Pros and Cons of Plotters and Pantsers – The Poetry Center - […] The Pros and Cons of Plotters and Pantsers […]
  46. Outlining Pants (part 1) – Cate Winterbourne - […] I was a determined pantser, and the only item I obsessed over were […]
  47. » “Stop dreaming and start doing”– Interview with author Paul Kohler - […] process when he writes: “When I started writing, I was a total panster. I soon realized, after countless dead-end…
  48. Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 14 | My Writing Diary - […] to write and there’s sort of a roadblock in front of me. While I didn’t wholly take the Pantser…
  49. Plot | storylife - […] is created as a way for writers to organise their stories, but there is a large debate amongst the…
  50. Preparation is Three-Quarters of the Battle | Charlotte Rains Dixon - […] know there’s an endless debate between pantsers and plotters.  (For the record, a pantser is one who flies by…
  51. Plotter and Panster Instructors in Horsemanship - Which Are You? | - […] like The Magic Violinist’s description of panster “Pansters have the freedom to take their novel in any direction they […]
  52. You can’t pants while you rewrite. – manywrites - […] If you want to read a bit more about plotting and pantsing, the writepractice has a nice write up…
  53. A Search for Songs: Chris interviews Chris – chris dykes - […] Chris: So you’re not exactly a plotter. More of a […]
  54. My Very Pitch Wars Month | Dreaming in Character - […] loved (and in some cases, never heard of) before. For someone who’s always been a confirmed pantser, I can…
  55. Writers Wednesday: Neither Pantser nor Plotter – A Novel Attitude - […] there’s those who don’t really fit into either category. Sometimes dubbed “plantsers,” we are the ones who like to…
  56. NaNoWriMo Begins… | Tracey-anne's WordPress Blog - […] the beginning is the easy part. I’m sure the difficulties will come later as I’m a plotter and not a…
  57. How The Velvet Underground Saved November – Occasional Dreams - […] a little catching up to do I finally have my story — I did say I was a shameless ‘pantser‘. Not only do…
  58. Chapter 2017 {Page 6} – Beth Hardinger - […] I’m thinking about planning out my novel. I know. It’s crazy. But clearly, being a pantser isn’t working. I need…
  59. A Journey… | Sarah-M-Dipity - […] been percolating in my head for a bit now and I’ve even been outlining.  Can you imagine? A pantser like myself…
  60. Plotting versus pantsing: the great debate - Tina Dubinsky - […] to The Magic Violinist at The Write Practice, pantsers suffer from writer’s block. This was not my experience as my…
  61. Can Outlining Too Much Derail Writing Progress? | A.E. Siraki, Writer - […] is an age old debate about if you’re a plotter or a pantser as a writer. Basically, plotters are…
  62. #AmWriting – And the time for plotting has come! – OUR FAMILIARIUM - […] I’m mostly a pantser. […]
  63. Writing as a Business Step One Part One: Write some Words - Troy Lambert - […] is often a debate between outliners and pantsters, those who research ahead of time, and those who research at…
  64. For a change | Reed Writes - […] have an idea, but I need a little frame work before I start writing (I’m unfortunately not a panster, but…
  65. Programming is Writing is Programming – Felienne's blog - […] How to approach this is a topic for many methodologies in both writing and programming. Is it better to…
  66. Reflection on Moscow | levishedated - […] useful to establish a couple of things here. Firstly – I am a pantser, not a plotter. This means that…
  67. “Last Run” Progress Report – Beit Shlomi - […] novel stands at about 104k, and still has the main drama in front of it. I’m an unrepentant pantser, which…
  68. Agents of SHIELD as Accountable Cult TV | Rayguns Must Be Disabled At All Times - […] these shows have no idea what the actual outcome will be. In NaNoWriMo parlance: they’re pantsers. They just keep…
  69. Try Something New | A. B. Westrick, author - […] novelists is to try something new if you are in a slump. If you’re an outliner, try being a…
  70. Are you Plotter, Pantser or Something Else? | Estelle Van de Velde - […] K.M. Weiland “The Mirror Moment: A Method for both Plotter and Pantsers” by James Scott Bell “The Pros and…
  71. Should You Plan Your Manuscript? – R.Q. Woodward - […] Generally, there are two extremes for how writers go about writing. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase ‘plotter or pantser’…
  72. Want to be a published author? - Four helpful tips - Timepot Blog - […] pocket every month. but when you calculate in a month. It doesn’t matter whether you are a panster or…
  73. Keep your fingers crossed. – D.G. Reid - […] Those are evolving documents but they’re pretty fleshed out already which is a shock for a pantser like me. …
  74. The W Plot | Sontag Writing Dreams - […] Plot. My arsenal now includes the Hero’s Journey, the Virgin’s Promise, and the W Plot. I’m a pantser, but…
  75. Are you a panster or a plotter? HINT: maybe you should be a little of both. - […] A Pantser is “someone who plans out their novel before they write it. A pantser is someone who, “flies…
  76. Självförtroende | Element X - […] som du bara måste få ur dig innan du kan gå vidare. (Och ja, det gäller oavsett om du…
  77. G…uest #21: Three Ingredients — for a Story | The Recipe Hunter - […] I thought I could cook up some fun! Recently, I launched my second “three things” pantser novel.  (Learn about them…
  78. Pants again | Katherine Kim - […] a Pantser.  I admit it.  I have mentioned it before.  I wish that I was a Planner, I really…
  79. NaNoWriMo 2017 is just around the corner. How are you preparing? - […] a card-carrying pantser. But I believe, I swear, that there are huge advantages to at least dabbling in plotting.…
  80. The Danger for Every Plotter and Pantser – Yasir M. Anjum - […] The Pros and Cons of Plotters and Pantsers. (2014, May 15). Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/ […]
  81. How to Make Your Own NaNoWriMo – LITTLE SIBERIA - […] you’re a panster or a plotter, are writing 50k or just trying to write a bit every day, how…
  82. How do I write faster? Remove distractions - Write with Phil - […] is that there are a lot of things going on in your head, especially if, like me, you’re a…
  83. November meetings and miscellany | Waconia Writers Group - […] in National Novel Writing Month shared a bit about their projects and how their processes differ (plotters vs pantsers!).…
  84. State of the Writer: October, 2017 – Julie Strier: Writer - […] I’m discovering that there is a lot of merit to being a plotter and having an outline. (Pantser? Plotter?…
  85. Outlining Your Thriller: Pros and Cons - Fiction Formula - […] For some, the answer is to sit down and begin writing the novel; those writers are often called ‘pantsers’,…
  86. Sunday night is Writing Lads night | Rob Cline, Writer - […] That might sound like I’m setting up an excuse for failure in advance, but my days as a pantser…
  87. Pen to Pen: Liv Rancourt on Plotting and Character Motivation for Novelists | Dale Cameron Lowry, Author - […] writer who “flies by the seat of their pants”, doing very little planning before they […]
  88. Creating Characters for Fiction - Calliope's Prisoner - […] significantly – emotion. It doesn’t matter if you are plot-driven or character-driven, a plotter or a pantser – you…
  89. Update | Freehauler Alcione - […] hoping to finally get the first book, Madverts, epublished this year. Being an autistic pantser, I simply am unable…
  90. 5 Key Observations For Writers – Writer's Thumbprint - […] are pansters; who just write the story off the top of their head and let their creativity […]
  91. Google Docs… For a Book? – Tara L. Campbell - […] worked from an outline. Before all the pantsers run from the room, know that you don’t have to use…
  92. to plot or not to plot...? | Anne Skyvington - […] and by The Magic Violinist on on “The Write Practice” at: https://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/ […]
  93. The Craft: Theseus in the Labyrinth « Inside the Writer’s Mind - […] you’re one of those lucky few (the “Pantsers”) who can sit down and write a whole work by just…
  94. Interview with Laura Shovan: Take Two, for Takedown « Naomi Milliner - […] plotting and pantsing (Being a plotter or a pantser — writing by the seat of your pants: https://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/). She’s teaching…
  95. Who Needs Scrivener? 5 novel Writing Apps For Linux - ROKISA - […] will appeal to “planners” moreso than “pantsers,” as it allows them to lay out their novel in detail before…
  96. Episode 2: Tanya Huff – The Worldshapers - […] more story structure than she usually does: she says she’s usually much more of a “pantser” than she was…
  97. Pulling It All Together • Amy M. Young - […] Right now, I’m trying to unlearn bad habits, trying to get myself healthier (which is happening, slowly, but it…
  98. #nanoprep: Beware the Early Burnout! | Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons - […] think of myself as a plantser because in October I’m in Planner Mode. Research, outlines, scene cards, character sketches,…
  99. Finding that balance with my writing. - […] am a pantser when it comes to writing (more or less). If you don’t know what that is it…
  100. The Planster Outline – Help I'm Writing A Book - […] If you answered yes to all of the above, then you’re most likely a plotter. Plotters plan out their…
  101. Author Insights: Writing a Book Is a Very Different Experience Than Reading a Book | Jeffrey Pillow - […] used to be a pantser, a term for writers who fly by the seat of their pants when writing.…
  102. Writing SMART Goals - DIY MFA - […] you’re a pantser when it comes to writing, but to have a writing career, you need to be a…
  103. Story Writing Software – wavemaker - […] The Pros and Cons of Plotters and Pantsers CategoriesWriting Stuff […]
  104. Low-Stress Website Building the Smart Way - Bethany Henry - […] it’s the same pantser/plotter debate only for websites. […]
  105. What is the theme in writing your story? - Tell Your Story with Evalogue.Life - […] if the story has not fully revealed itself to you? If you are a seat-of-your pants writer (“panster” vs.…
  106. Placemarker - […] writing club. I went, I pestered her for reminders about plot, I remembered just how much of a pantser…
  107. What are the differences between line and developmental editing? - Penning and Planning - […] an author, it can be really hard to keep track of everything, especially if you’re more of a pantser…
  108. Which is the best way to write your first novel? - Penning and Planning - […] began writing it as a pantser with no set plan at the beginning. 17 (short) chapters have been written…
  109. PLEASE READ: ABOUT THIS BLOG – Untitled Book - […] a secondary language to me and I’ve never written fiction in English before) 4. I’m a pantser, meaning that…
  110. Forgot My Dice Episode 64 – Lookin’ at this Llama – Forgot My Dice - […] is Magic RPG No Thank You Evil Avengers Endgame Georg Rockhall-Schmidt Blade Game of Thrones Plotters and Pantsers  Mortal…
  111. Programmare o improvvisare? - Blog Scrivere Vivere - […] scelta è spinosa per chi si accinge a scrivere una storia della lunghezza di un romanzo; anzi, […]
  112. The Truth about Plotters and Pantsers – Steven Ramirez, Author - […] of you who might be new to the discussion, let’s first explain the terms. I am quoting the from…
  113. First time writing – finding your path – “Plantser” | meltongblog - […] of my findings: It’s ok to be a pantser. Be a smart plantser (Pantser who plots). https://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/ (Source suggests…
  114. NaNo Rebels Unite - Lunar Obverse - […] (Which is why authors talk about the two types of writers: panters, vs. plotters.) […]
  115. Write a Great Memoir: How to Start (and Actually Finish) Your First Draft - […] are two types of writers: the plotters and the pansters. Plotters like to outline. Pantsers think outlining crushes their…
  116. How to Start (and Actually Finish) Your First Draft - ConorBradley - Web Services - […] are two types of writers: the plotters and the pansters. Plotters like to outline. Pantsers think outlining crushes their…
  117. The Awful Truth About the Name of the Rose – Marco Ocram – Bookshine And Readbows - […] as TATATNOTR stands perfectly well alone.  We are reintroduced to terrible writer and inveterate ‘pantser’, Marco, and his long-suffering…
  118. Jo Bavington-Jones: "I met my agent on a dating site" - Cathy White - […] Knowing Jo hates editing and planning and makes it up as she goes along, I wondered if – with…
  119. My Travel Memoir Writing Diary #1 - Birds of a Feather - […] two types of writers – plotters and pantsers. I’ve been pantsing through my memoir: just writing with no idea…
  120. Years of Contemplation (aka procrastination) – Beth McQueen - […] two types of writers – plotters and pantsers. I’ve been pantsing through my memoir: just writing with no idea…
  121. Outlining as an Over-Engineer – Mitchell J. Sanders Journal - […] outlining process to the fullest with my mind already made up that I’ll probably be a strict plotter, and…
  122. Qui a besoin de Scrivener? 5 nouvelles applications d'écriture pour Linux | Moyens I/O - […] fera appel à «Planificateurs» plus que «pantalons» car cela leur permet de présenter leur roman en détail avant même…
  123. Why Write? – Part Three | SirPeterJames.com - […] Were you brave enough to simply start writing, without giving much thought as to what you would say? Did…
  124. Author Interview: Keith W. Willis - Enchanted Knight - Kaytalin Platt - […] to get from point A to point B. And this is really different for me, because I’m always a…
  125. O hai let me wanna-be! pe Trilema - Un blog de Mircea Popescu. - […] are seeing this because your blog was recently used as part of a DDOS attack against […]
  126. Jenis Penulis Novel: Plotter dan Pantser termasuk Pro dan Kontra – AFAHRURROJInet - […] https://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/ […]
  127. My Writing Routine - EllesBellesNotebook - Writer & Novelist Ellie Pilcher - […] your writing routine? Do you plot out your books, or are you more of a ‘wing-it’ type writer? Do…
  128. Literary Fun: Outlining My Novel | Crazy & Humorous - […] and novels that I just did not how to write an ending for. That is why I switched from…
  129. Don’t Force a Pantser to be a Plotter | Frank Ormond - […] the title of this article is confusing to you, I recommend an article by The Write Practice on the…
  130. Reciprocalove | Rob Knowlan - […] pantser in me is struggling violently against the process of trying to lay out a basic […]
  131. Netflix’s ‘Dark’ Both Is And Isn’t The Second Coming Of ‘LOST’ – WebsFavourites.Com - […] writers typically fall into two different approaches: plotters and pantsers. Plotters are known for their considered, meticulous series bibles…

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